Increase your visibility by choosing collaborations that are aligned for you!
From nearly a decade of being a small business owner, I’ve learned a lot about the potential of collaborating with others to increase your visibility.
My collaboration journey really started ramping up in 2017 when I was encouraged to stop isolating myself, and make connections in the business world.
If you haven’t heard the story, I owned a mattress store, a retail shop in New Hampshire and I was a sad little entrepreneur… working by my lonesome – I look happy in the picture, but on the inside I was bored and uninspired.
In an effort to help me drum up some sales, increase visibility and ramp up business, a business advisor I was working with encouraged me to get out there and make some new connections and friends!
I took her advice and RAN with it – I attended every networking event I could get my butt to, met people on coffee dates, and collaborated with a lot of people.
It’s been upward, onward, and more aligned since then!
In my Marketing Momentum Lab (a six-week, small group program I run three times a year), we focus on how to increase your visibility through collaboration and why it plays such a vital role in our success as entrepreneurs.
In my own collaboration efforts, I’ve put on events and workshops, done podcast interviews both as a guest and a host, run a book club, and more. As a copywriter, I’ve worked with Brand Designers and Website Designers both for my clients as well as to brand my own business.
I’ve learned a lot about collaborating and how it can increase your visibility and I want to share some of the reflections and lessons from it all.
What’s worked and what hasn’t, and how to leverage collaborations to increase your visibility, grow your businesses and build lasting relationships.
Four Reasons to Collaborate
- It’s less lonely
- You will go further, faster, together
- It can increase your visibility
- You can meet even more new friends and faces
- It has the potential for a massive ripple effect
My hope is that this blog (and if you prefer listening, I did a whole podcast on this HERE) will help set you up for success moving forward in your own collaborations so you can seek out and find THOSE RIGHT collaborators!
What are some examples of collaboration?
You probably think of a collaboration consisting of running an event together, starting a business with someone, or putting on a workshop together.
YES AND… collaboration can also come in the form of:
- Sharing a platform of any kind with someone else: podcasting, workshops, LIVES, etc.
- Presenting / Speaking or being on a Summit or panel
- Being a part of or creating a business bundle
- Creating something entirely new that doesn’t exist yet
- Running a challenge together
- Cohosting a podcast
- Starting a book club or focus group
- Starting a Facebook community together
- Working with clients
- Sponsoring events
- Being a guest on just about anything!
One thing I want to help you realize, as it’s something I’m continuously learning too: who you choose to collaborate with MATTERS.
- You’re giving someone access to your energy, brains, talents, and skillset, and they need to respect and value that as much as you respect and value theirs.
- Secondly, it’s a reflection on you. When you choose to collaborate with someone, you’re giving access to the people YOU’VE spent time building that know, like, and trust factor with.
It’s not to be taken lightly or for granted and if I’m honest, I’ve had many times in my business that I’ve taken it far less seriously than I should have when choosing collaborators.
When it goes well, it ripples out abundance, growth, inspiration, visibility, and more! And when it goes bad, it can do damage to hearts, minds, friendships, and honestly, communities.
How to Choose Great Collaborators:
SHARED VISION / EXPECTATIONS
You need to have a shared vision and know what’s expected of one another. Every project doesn’t need to have some deep existential reason for existing, but often, even with a podcast episode, you’ll find that many hosts sit down with you for a few minutes before an interview and say, “This is what I’m hoping for, what are you hoping for in this conversation?” The clearer the expectations are up front, the better off your collaboration will be. Aligning on the desired outcome will create a far better experience. It also helps you get clear on what’s most important.
I don’t think you’re going to get the chance to hash out someone’s values every time you hop on their podcast or go LIVE with them. Some of this comes down to researching and learning more about the person you’re collaborating with prior to if this is something important and significant to you. Someone’s values can be so DIFFERENT from yours that you end up compromising what’s important to you – or acting hypocritical to your belief system or feeling like what you think/feel isn’t valid or important.
Your values can get trampled if you’re not both upfront about them. Depending on how deep the collaboration is, I think it’s important to bring this up.
You need to be able to speak up when collaboration is starting to veer off or when you’re doing most of the work, or you feel like the other person is and you need to know how to help. Communicating strengths, weaknesses, expectations, and progress is KEY. Respecting and compromising on how you communicate is also important.
PERSONALITY and MODUS OPERANDI
Personality also feeds a bit into characteristics in a person such as commitment and work ethic, which can bring us to a sense of overall compatibility. Personality plays a huge role because it can be challenging to collaborate with someone you don’t jive with or feel connected to. It can also be hard when things like stubbornness, rigidity, overpowering or bossy tendencies come unleashed for either of you if it’s not in line with how the other person operates.
Other questions to ask are: is the person as committed as you? Are they flaky? Going to leave you holding the bag? Are they going to put in time and energy? You don’t want to be left putting someone’s name all over something you collaborated on – giving them exposure and visibility and then they cancel on you and you’re left to host the thing alone, set it up yourself, or clean up yourself.
Sometimes you might want to supersize your existing skillset with collaboration that has similar strengths and other times, you might want to get someone who can balance out your weaknesses. I tend to love collaborating with people who have skills in areas. You are amazing at being YOU and doing what you do best! And someone else is amazing at being them and doing what they do best.
In the words of my husband, Jason Aborn:
“You can have a good collaboration with the WRONG person, but what you should strive for is a good collaboration with the RIGHT person.”
I’m biased to his wisdom, but I couldn’t have said it better myself. 😊
To wrap up, here are some questions to use when reflecting on your past collaborations and examining future ones to set yourself up for success:
- Do my collaborators line up with the vision I have for this project, event, and outcome? What do we each define as this being a success? What’s the gauge for how well it went?
- What are their values? What are their business values? Do they align with my values? What do I need to learn about them or myself before moving forward to make sure we’re aligned?
- Can I communicate openly and honestly with this person? How do I best like to communicate? How do they best like communicating? How frequently does each of us need to touch base?
- Do I like their personality? Do they like MINE!? Can I be myself with them?
- Do I like their modus operandi and how they conduct themselves in the world? Do they show up when they say they will? Do what they say they will do? How committed are they?
- What skills and strengths do they have I don’t? What strengths and skills do I have that they don’t? Where might there be gaps?
- Do they have access to people I want to be connecting with!? And vice versa?
If you want to learn more about HOW to really seek out and forge collaborations to increase your visibility, this is something we go in depth in during my six-week Marketing Momentum Lab. We talk all about how to increase your visibility in ways that feel really GOOD and aligned for you!
If you’re interested – shoot me an email at email@example.com and you’ll be the first to know when I launch the next one!
Tune into the She Built This podcast for ongoing resources, stories and tips on being an entrepreneur! In this episode on choosing the right collaborations, I share lessons learned and questions to ask yourself before collaborating.
A six-week, small group program designed to help you increase you rekindle the spark when it comes to your marketing. We talk about increasing your visibility through out-of-the-box methods such as collaborations, content, consistency, and more!